The Wine of Renewal

At Mass yesterday at Christ the King, Fr. Dale offered a different way of thinking about the Gospel account of the wedding feast of Cana, the episode in John’s Gospel about which I wrote yesterday.

Fr. Dale spoke of Mary as addressing more than the absence of wine when she spoke to her son. (“They have no wine.”) Rather, he suggested, Mary was addressing the empty state of the religious lives of the people. She could see that something new, something intoxicating was necessary to bring life to their arid lives. So, on behalf of the people, she asked her son (“compelled” was the word Fr. Dale used) to do something.

And Jesus responded, Fr. Dale suggested, not with a “razzle-dazzle” miracle (although he did acknowledge that it was a awfully good one), but with a sign – with an act that pointed to something new – something made new in the Incarnation. That is, God’s presence in and among us. Jesus himself is the new wine – the limitless sign of our renewal.

Near the end of his homily, Fr. Dale reminded us that with Jesus’ spirit animating and invigorating us, we are the sacrament of his presence here on earth. He ended saying, “Jesus is more than a miracle worker, and we are vastly more than we think we are.”


2 thoughts on “The Wine of Renewal

  1. How many individuals (sometimes groups of), with one breath, have often taken to heart that another (others) believe it ” necessary to bring life to their arid lives.” – while with the next breath, they are informed “we are vastly more than we THINK we are.”

    To many shrouded in doubt and more. . . how much more empowering is a loving embrace received before lessons are delivered – Faith foundations reinforced allow message and lesson to better withstand the winds of trial and tribulation.

  2. The new wine did point to “God’s presence in and among us,” and was about “Jesus’ spirit animating and invigorating us.” There is a contrast in Jn. 2 between the Jewish water of purification and Jesus’ new wine. Similarly, a few days before the wedding, John the Baptist contrasted his baptizing with water and the one on whom he saw the Spirit descend and remain; this one would baptize with the Spirit (1:31-34). Likewise, in Jn. 4 Jesus contrasts the well water of the Samaritan woman with the living water he can give; in 7:38-39 Jesus says his living water is the Spirit, which will be given to his disciples after he is glorified (after his hour to return to the Father has come, as in 13:1).
    In Jn. 2 Jesus’ hour has not yet come (to be glorified), but he does this miracle anyway as a sign of the new wine he will give to his disciples after his hour does come.

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